Thursday December 20

Luke 1:39–45 “In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, 40where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. 41When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leapt in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit 42and exclaimed with a loud cry, ‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. 43And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? 44For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leapt for joy. 45And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfilment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.’”

Perhaps we haven’t been in Mary’s or Elizabeth’s situation: becoming pregnant when no one
expected it, let alone becoming bearers of important messengers of God’s kingdom. But we
have all asked, “Why has this happened to me?” Usually, it comes up in times of diagnosis of disease
or a traumatic accident. But rarely do we respond optimistically when asking this question. What if
we were to respond as these faithful women did when the ways of this world were against them?
Mary sings her Magnificat and Elizabeth celebrates that her baby leaps for joy in utero. We may feel at times like the world is against us. Women in particular today, like Mary and Elizabeth, may still face circumstances that bring sorrow. Yet we pray this Advent that stories like the joy of Mary and Elizabeth, even in the throes of hardship, may instill in us new perspectives of faith amid adversity that can inspire others to hope in God’s promises.

Lord of all hopefulness, move our hearts to sing praises when you call us to something that challenges us. Amen.

Advent Photo Challenge:  Take a picture each day during Advent and share on your social media platform of choice with #stpauladvent
Today’s picture inspiration: Leap